Music at funerals is changing. The trend is often to have a mixture, a hymn, a favourite song and possibly a favourite theme tune, sometimes sad, sometimes humourous. Pop, rock and golden oldies, classical or traditional hymns …….. anything is possible.
Music has played a large part in funerals becoming more personalised. ‘Always Look On The Bright Side’ takes the No 1 slot, ‘Match Of The Day’ theme tune comes in at No 4, showing that people want to be remembered with humour and their hobbies and pastimes. Corrie beats Eastenders in the most played soap theme tune. Elvis is the most requested solo singer, but Frank is there at No 5 with ‘My Way’.
As far as groups go Queen is ‘Top of the Pops’, Don’t Stop Me Now’ and ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ being amongst the favourites. Coldplay have ‘Paradise’ and ‘Fix you’ and the very talented Adele features with ‘Someone Like You’ and ‘Make You Feel My Love’.
Lets not forget the hymns and classical music. ‘The Lord Is My Sheperd’ is the most requested hymn at No. 2, followed by ‘Abide With Me’, in at No 3 in the Top Ten chart. ‘All Things Bright And Beautiful’ comes in at No. 6. These can be played with a backing choir which often allows those at the service to sing as loudly or as softly as they wish, without worrying about what people will think of their singing. It can help with the emotions and be very cathartic.
Enigma variations (Nimrod Elgar) is the most popular classical piece played and Canon in D (Pachelbel) the second most popular. Other popular pieces are Four Seasons by Vivaldi, Ave Maria by Schubert and Nessun Dorma by Puccini.
At the Chiltern Crematorium in Amersham they have a system called Wesley Media and can download music for you. However with internet access and You Tube it is possible to find the music that is right for the service that you want, wherever you choose to hold it. I would advise at least 3 pieces of music. Entry music, music played as a ‘Time for Refelection’ or a hymn (of course you can have both) and a piece of music to exit on. It really is personal choice. If you are having a church service obviously it is usually hymns that are chosen but more churches are letting a mixture of music during the service.
I organised and took a funeral for a 97 year old artist which included 5 pieces of his favourite Opera. Another funeral I was involved in was of a 101 year old, it had a ‘spring’ theme as the lady loved spring, so we entered to the singing of birds and played Vivaldi during the service. Both fitting and lovely services. Recently we were asked by a family to play the Disney theme tune ‘It’s a Small World’ as the exit music. The grandchildren had requested it as they had all gone to Disney together for their Grandads 80th birthday celebration. Their Grandad wanted to do that ride first thing in the morning and last thing at night and spent all the time singing away. Happy memories and what a wonderful choice, also letting the children be involved in the funeral planning and leaving the service with their tears and smiles, remembering a much loved Grandad.
So it’s your personal choice whether ‘It’s A Small World’ you want or Frank singing ‘I Did My Way’ We will provide families with a wide range of options to help them plan and create a fitting tribute as they say their final farewell to their loved one.